Some great Information about the Ribolla Gialla Grapes at our listing at 4204 Dry Creek Road in Napa; their wine is only served at the French Laundry in Yountville. Below is an exerpt from the San Francisco Chronicle.
The Ribolla Gialla grape is from northern Italy– high in acid and delicate in the vineyard; it has achieved a mild sort of fame as Friulian white wines have gained currency – even more so as a backbone for so-called orange wines (white wines fermented on their skins like a red) made by the likes of Italian iconoclasts Josko Gravner and Stanko Radikon.
Why, then, would it find a home in Napa Valley? Pin that one on George Vare. Vare’s vineyard, surrounding his house west of the city of Napa, is apparently the sole U.S. source of Ribolla Gialla, a modest 2 1/2 acres worth.
At first, Vare seems an unlikely advocate for this difficult, cold-climate grape. A wine industry veteran since 1972, when he acquired Geyser peak Winery for Schlitz Brewing, he has run a major wholesale firm (Henry Wine Group) and helped buy Beringer back from Nestle before founding Luna Vineyards in 1996 on the Silverado Trail. After building a career on California staples, he has become an incubator of sorts for the avant-garde.
“I love to see some innovative activity going on,” Vare says. “I think the huge focus on Cabernet and Chardonnay has probably served its purpose, but there’s other things going on out there as well.”
His Ribolla is being parceled out to eight winemakers. In turn, they are using the tiny lots to create some of California’s more compelling white wines.
The roster includes viticulturist Steve Matthiasoon, who helps Vare with the vineyard and adds Ribolla into his Matthiasson white blend, a mix of Friulian and Bordeaux traditions that was one of the most compelling wines I encountered last year.